Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Bizarre Shipping Restrictions


#1

Hi all,

I just ran into a weird shipping hassle with an order from an
Australian customer. I had the order all packed up and ready to go,
but was informed at the post office that Australia does not accept
shipments containing jewelry. I double-checked this on the USPS
website, where it was confirmed: no shipments of gold, platinum, or
silver (manufactured or not) or jewelry or precious stones are
allowed. I had run into a similar issue with a shipment to Canada,
but in their case, it was possible to ship the jewelry if an extra
fee was paid to register it (something like $10.50). Apparently,
however, there is no getting around the Australian prohibition, and
it looks like I may have to refund the customer’s payment and refuse
future orders from Oz.

Have any of you run into a similar hassle? Why does it exist? (I
can understand trade regulations applying to huge shipments of gold
or diamonds, but a $55 pendant? Come on! I’m hardly going to collapse
the economy!) What, if anything, can I do about this?

Many thanks for your thoughts - I’d be much obliged if you could CC
your answer to my e-mail, as I’m preparing to move to a new house
and I’m waaaaay behind on my digests.

Best to all,

Jessee Smith
www.silverspotstudio.com
Cincinnati, Ohio


#2

This may help: http://pe.usps.gov/text/imm/immc1.html

  "Note: The term "jewelry" is generally understood to denote
  articles of more than nominal value. Inexpensive jewelry, such
  as tie clasps and costume jewelry, containing little or no
  precious metal, is not considered to be jewelry within the
  meaning of this section and is accepted under the same
  conditions as other mailable merchandise to any country.
  Inexpensive jewelry is accepted to countries that prohibit
  jewelry, but only at the sender's risk." 

I have shipped inexpensive gold-filled earrings to Australia with no
problems.

Hope this helps,
MonaLS


#3

Wow! This sounds really crazy considering that they are one of the
bigger gem producers in the world! Maybe they are trying to stop
things being sent out more than in? When I was living in Norway, I
found out that the silver manufacturers could not send silver in the
regular mail abroad, but could w/in the country. If they were to send
it abroad, they had to use a carrier like FedEX. I think the post
office didn’t want to be responsible for the expense if it was lost.
Could that be an alternative for sending to Australia? One of the
commercial companies?

Jeanne
http://www.jeannius.com


#4
If they were to send it abroad, they had to use a carrier like
FedEX. I think the post office didn't want to be responsible for
the expense if it was lost. Could that be an alternative for
sending to Australia? 

FedEx was actually the first shipping option I checked out - but it
turned out that it would cost about $57 to send the package that way.
UPS was $71. A bit out of hand, I thought, when the USPS rate for
Global Priority was $9. I don’t think the post office would be
responsible for losses inthis case - Global Priority Mail is
uninsurable, so the sender accepts the risk of loss.

Here’s the verbatim text from the USPS site
(http://pe.usps.gov/text/Imm/immicl/immiclab_012.html): Coins; bank
notes; currency notes (paper money); securities of any kind payable
to bearer; traveler’s checks; platinum, gold, and silver
(manufactured or not); precious stones; jewelry; and other valuable
articles are prohibited.

Most of the other restrictions have to do with biological pollutants
and firearms.

I have to wonder what, exactly, counts as a “valuable article” -
maybe there’s a dollar value below which items might be accepted.
I’ve only dealt with small orders from overseas customers, usually
less than $100, so I can’t justify the expense of sending via FedEx.
Maybe sending as a gift, as Ahmed suggested, would be an
option…I’ll have to give it a try.

Many thanks,
Jessee Smith
www.silverspotstudio.com
Cincinnati, Ohio

An addendum: I should have done this before writing earlier, but I
did some Googling and found that there’s an interesting discussion
of international shipping restrictions and related hassles on eBay.
You can find the discussion in the “community” section under
"Discussion Boards: International Trading." Unfortunately, the
advice given is far from conclusive and often contradictory, but it
was helpful to read of others’ experiences.

Several people mentioned that marking a package as a gift might
result in a random customs search, upon which customs officials
might assign your item a higher value than the one declared and
charge your customer added duties or other fees - doubleplusungood!

I also checked out restrictions for other countries on the USPS site
and found that many prohibit or restrict the shipment of jewelry and
other “valuable” articles. One eBay poster suggested that this might
be to avoid the smuggling of “ill-gotten” money or goods, which is
all very well unless you’re honestly just trying to export a trinket
or two :-/


#5

Hi Chris

Can’t understand why you can’t send a pendant to Australia if a
customer has ordered this. Check Australian customs site
http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=4232&c=3471 doesn’t seem
like a problem from here.

I purchase tools, findings etc via Internet regularly and have not
had a problem.

Also had a quick chat with customs advice line, they confirmed that
there is not a problem with sending jewellery to Australia. The
problem is most likely with USPS not Aust Customs.

cheers
Lise
Thebarton, South Australia
www.middletonbeach.com


#6

I’m wondering if these new restrictions could have anything to do
with the patriot act and trying to control money laundering? Have you
checked if this restriction is only for Australia or could it be for
other countries as well? Just a thought.

Jeanne


#7

It may be a US Mail regulation only. It probably has to do with money
laundering and trying to bypass customs duties and taxes etc. We ship
to Australia via FedEx ,we have not had any serious problems with
them but the paper work for international shipping is outrageous. And
it is not cheap to use them for international shipping. Even though
the WWW has opened up our ability to show work to and sell to
international clients the governmental regulations and paprework are
still arcane and frustrating.

Jim Binnion


#8

I am Australian, but I live in San Francisco. I send home stuff all
the time that was on your prohibited list… such as paper money.
I’ve sent jewelly home, but I label it as gifts.

Australia is very picky about what comes into the country because we
have a “clean” country. If you’ve ever been there you know what I am
talking about. Very stringent laws about what comes in help keep it
that way.

I’d suggest labeling it as a gift.

Peita


#9

When I lived in Sydney (1987-1990) my brother mailed me a strand of
pearls as a gift. There was no problem with the mailing, but when
they got there the customs duty on the declared value was more than
said value. So I rejected the shipment and it went back to the
States. Maybe that’s why this has been instituted.

Chris Lehmkuhl


#10

I had heard on another list that terminology from one country to
another could be part of the problem. What we consider jewelry, i.e.,
inexpensive, perhaps also called costume jewelry, to them would be
considered “accessories”. I’ll bet there’s no problem shipping
accessories.

Betty


#11
I had heard on another list that terminology from one country to
another could be part of the problem. What we consider jewelry,
i.e., inexpensive, perhaps also called costume jewelry, to them
would be considered "accessories". I'll bet there's no problem
shipping accessories. 

I have also heard this. In fact I did a great deal of homework with
numerous carriers, couriers and the Australian Postal service a few
years ago [when I set up my original website and had great dreams of
shipping vast quantities of product… (haha!!)] and found that most
of them will not carry ‘jewelry’ because it is considered a high
risk item - small (often) packages that disappear easily … I
also regularly order from Rio Grande and never have any problems when
goods are described as ‘jewelry components’ or ‘beads’…

:slight_smile: Kimmyg
www.northcoastbeadmakers.com


#12

content of email from Australian Customs:

  Dear Lise, 

  Thank you for your email. 

  There are no Customs restrictions on this type of item coming
  into Australia. It appears that USPS may have their own
  restrictions on the types of goods that they will send to
  Australia. This is an issue that you will need to take up with
  them. You may also need to check with Australia Post to see if
  they have any problems with receiving these types of goods from
  the USPS. 

  Regards 

  Gai Davison 
  Senior Information Officer, 
  Customs Information & support Centre, 
  Australian Customs Service. 
  Ph: 1300 363 263 
  Fax: 02 83396714 
  http://www.customs.gov.au